HEALTHY DINNER  ROOT VEGETABLE MAC ’N CHEESE

Root vegetable lovers rejoice! This dish not only features chunks of roasted root vegetables, but there are pureed root veggies in the sauce, too. Follow the recipe closely, or use your own combination of root vegetables, including swede and celery (though you may want to avoid beetroot unless you want pink mac ’n cheese). You will need about 3 pounds/1.35kg in total.

Ingredients

 ROOT VEGETABLES

  • 1 parsnip, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm dice
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm dice
  • 1 waxy potato, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm dice
  • ½ cup/75g chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

MAC ’N CHEESE

  • 2 cups/500ml Light Vegetable Broth , or more as needed
  • ½ cup/70g nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free mustard
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon grated fresh turmeric, or ¼ teaspoon ground
  • 8 ounces/225g whole-grain or bean-based elbow macaroni or other bite-size pasta of your choice

Preparation

FOR THE ROOT VEGETABLES: Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Line two baking trays with silicone mats or baking parchment.

Divide the vegetables evenly in a single layer between the two prepared trays. Sprinkle with onion powder and black pepper. Roast until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized, 45 to 60 minutes, turning the veggies with a metal spatula about halfway through. When the vegetables are done roasting, remove them from the oven and set aside.

FOR THE MAC ’N CHEESE: Put 2 cups/350g of the roasted vegetables into a high-powered blender. Add the Light Vegetable Broth, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso paste, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and turmeric. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Add more broth if needed to reach your desired consistency. Set the sauce aside.

Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and the sauce, stirring gently over a low heat to combine and heat through. Serve hot.


THE BEST WAY TO COOK FOR OUR EYES AND BRAIN

Lutein, the antioxidant in green vegetables,  protects our light-sensing nerves, helping us see betteand perhaps think better.  Boiling increases lutein levels,whereas microwaving may be detrimental. The best? Steaming, which nearly doubles lutein levels. 

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